s approved by the President, and directing that the sentence be carried out without delay.
The judges differed on three questions: (1) Whether on the facts submitted a writ of habeas corpus should be issued; (2) Whether Milligan ought to be discharged; (3) Whether the military commission had acted within its jurisdiction; and these were submitted to the Supreme Court of the United States.
The first two questions were answered in the affirmative, the third in the negative, Justices Davis, Grier, Nelson, Clifford, and Fields holding that Congress had not the constitutional power to authorize such commission—that the Constitution forbids it, and is the supreme law of the land, in war as in peace.
Chief-Justice Chase, supported by Justices Wayne, Swayne, and Miller, held that Congress has the power to authorize military commissions in time of war; but all concurred in the answers given to the three questions submitted, and Milligan was released.
The decision of the court overthrew t
remember the trial, the ruling of the bench, the swearing on the stand, the witness coming back to alter and enlarge his testimony and have another gird at the prisoner!
You have not forgotten the trials before Judge Kane at Philadelphia, and Judge Grier at Christiana and Wilkesbarre.
These are natural results of causes well known.
You cannot escape a principle.
Enslave a negro, will you?—you doom to bondage your own sons and daughters by your own act . . . .
All this looks as if the third hypothesis would be fulfilled, and slavery triumph over freedom; as if the nation would expunge the Declaration of Independence from the scroll of time, and, instead of honoring Hancock and the Adamses and Washington, do homage to Kane and Grier and Curtis and Hallett and Loring.
Then the preamble to our Constitution might read to establish justice, insure domestic strife, hinder the common defence, disturb the general welfare, and inflict the curse of bondage on ourselves and our posteri